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North Vancouver brewery awarded for making one of Canada's best hefeweizens

North Point’s Banana Pancakes has won the 3-year-old brewery its first award – a first for head brewer Paul Kovamees as well 🍻
North Point's head brewer Paul Kovamees sips his winning beer, Banana Pancakes, outside the North Vancouver brewery. | Nick Laba / North Shore News

We have a beer recommendation for the alcoholic monkeys of Saint Kitts island in the West Indies.

It’s called Banana Pancakes, brewed at North Point Brewing Co. in North Vancouver, and it won Bronze in the German style hefeweizen/kristalweizen category at the premier Canada Beer Cup, held in late October.

Concocted eponymously by the talents of head brewer Paul Kovamees, Banana Pancakes was made with the intention of being the most traditional hefeweizen possible.

“I just wanted to make something clean and crisp, and true to the style,” Kovamees said.

The beer gets its character from the traditional hefeweizen ale yeast, as well as the heavy use of wheat in the grain mixture – more than 50 per cent. Those attributes helped bring out the final product, he said, and make it taste like a plate of bananas.

“What sets ours apart is the fact that we’re able to bring out those phenolic and fruity notes, without having to add flavoring and mimic that taste,” Kovamees explained.

The Beer Cup award is the first award for North Point, which turns three on Dec. 10, and Kovamees’s first in his own career. “There’s obviously lots of great breweries in Canada, so to be recognized for a beer that people enjoy is validating,” he said. “It feels good.”

The recipe for Banana Pancakes has been revised a few times since it’s first commercial batch in 2020. Kovamees calls it a crowd pleaser, and recommends it to anyone who’s into simple lagers and pilsners – a solid entry point into craft beer. He said North Point is working on getting it back into stock to celebrate the win.

Other beers from North Point to watch out for as colder weather sets in are the Baltic Porter, Apple Pie Sour and Wobbly Toboggan White IPA.

In August, the brewery opened an all-day cafe location at the Bentall Centre in downtown Vancouver.

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